Cheering on Amber Born of Marblehead

I’m putting my cheerleader hat on today to cheer for a local young lady who has made the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee that will be broadcast today at 2 p.m. on ESPN2 with the finals airing tonight at 8 p.m.

Her name is Amber Born. She lives in our home town of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Check her out here and some of the words she has successfully spelled.

Amber is 14 and has been home-schooled. It seems that a lot of the young people who make it to the Spelling Bee are also home schooled,(just checked and it’s only about 9% – I thought it was higher!), and I am interested in this method of teaching our youth.

Is home-schooling preferable to public or private schooling outside the home? What are the pros and cons? Anyone out there doing it?

Here’s an article about Amber from a local online newspaper.

So, you know where I’ll be at 2 and 8 p.m. today. I had to watch yesterday’s preliminary airing of the show on my laptop because it was on ESPN3 which I don’t get on my TV, but I do get ESPN2 and that is where the semi’s and final will be broadcast today. Can’t wait. I love this event.

This is the first year that a vocabulary test with word definitions has become a part of the Spelling Bee. Read a little about that here.

Here is another page explaining this new section of the Spelling Bee.

And finally, an article from USA Today entitled “Vocabulary section adds meaning to national spelling bee.”

Spelling has always been one of my loves, not that I get even half the words these kids can spell, but I like the challenge of it. They are incredible people. Some big, some little, a lot of in-betweeners, and all of them so intelligent. It’s quite a show if you get a chance to see it. It gives one a good feeling to know there are young people out there with so much dedication to learning.

So here’s a Rah-Rah-Rah cheer for our local young lady, Amber Born, of Marblehead. I’ll be watching and cheering for you today, you can count on that!

Cheers for Amber!

Bex & Co.

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13 Responses to Cheering on Amber Born of Marblehead

  1. Bex says:

    Down here in the lower 48, TT, I think you need to be certified if you want to “home school” your kids. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’ve seen shows on this subject, and I think there are strict rules you must follow regarding curriculum standards, etc.

    I don’t imagine that a 7th grade education would pass muster these days here for home schooling credentials. That almost seems tantamount to child abuse…

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  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    The SS’s were both home schooled by their mother for a year or two. Don’t ask me why, as their mother never even finished GRADE 8!!!

    Just what everyone needs, to be homeschooled by someone with a 7th grade education who also has mental health issues!!! (No wonder both boys had problems in their youth.)

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  3. Bex says:

    Yes, our Amber finished 4th from a base of millions in the Spelling Bee. Very impressive. I wasn’t a real fan of her style of comedy, though. She should stick to the writing side of it maybe. Her delivery needs work, but heck, she’s only 14. Amazing brain. The boy who won, Arvind Mahankali, was so non-phased it was comical almost. Not a smile out of him. When he won, he just stood there poker-faced, looking around – and when asked, he said he wasn’t in shock, just soaking it all in. He wants to be a physicist, if he isn’t one already.

    At 14, I was grooving on the first real love of my life and had no thought of anything intellectual. I admire these youngsters so much and hope they go far.

    The Bee was fun and even Paul stayed up late (it ended at 10:30 last night) to see the winner.

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  4. Michael says:

    Amber did wonderfully well, finishing tied for fourth and going out with pretty good humor on a ridiculous word (“hallali”). She was also the highest finishing girl in the bee.

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  5. Nina Camic says:

    Yeah, I’m with what others here have said. In my opinion, home schooling is absolutely fine in exceptional circumstances — when the kid really needs to be out of there and the parent is qualified to deal with her/him at home. Unfortunately, it is used too often by parents who just don’t like to expose their kids to something they themselves don’t buy into (science comes to mind). And the problem is that it’s not as if the kid gets a voice in that decision.

    My older girl had a rough time with the cliques in middle school. I agonized over her every hurt. But she toughened up in that environment. She looks back on her public high school and says it equipped her in ways that prep school kids couldn’t possibly understand (in her college years, she encountered the prep school crowd).

    Still, to be fair, some kids need to be out of the big school environment — they just cannot thrive in it. But they are the exception. Most can and do and should be exposed to it at least for some portion of their lives. …is my opinion.

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  6. Rhubarb says:

    Home schooling is definitely preferable. Do not want young people exposed to opposing ideas and low class people, except in very strictly controlled circumstances. Free flow of ideas and nonconformist concepts too dangerous.

    Private schools might be acceptable if they were politically correct.

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  7. mz. em says:

    I feel because I read a lot I spell fairly well. However to give definitions as well that would be hard. Although I don’t like to use words unless I know the meaning to. I was never in a spelling bee, I am amazed by these young people.

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  8. sandy freel says:

    “wow”..as you very well know I cant spell..my letters to you must look like a code…hehe.
    Great she is from your part of the USA

    Like

  9. Eric Mayer says:

    Wow. I don’t even know what some of those words mean let alone their spelling. I am a lousy speller.

    I don’t think much of home schooling. For one thing, teaching is a skill. Not everyone is a good teacher, regardless of how much they might know. Plus, at some point kids need to go out into the world, as unpleasant as some of it is. It must be a huge shock for a child cocooned by home schooling when they finally go out to a job or college.

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  10. Reenie says:

    I am over-the-top in love with my children, but could never home school unless I had to because options were unacceptable.

    My eldest who is SO WAY KOOL was bullied at the junior high he attended in the Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas. We chose to live in Shawnee Mission and pay much higher taxes because the schools were award winning.

    After my son’s head was dunked in a flushing toilet bowl, I finally intervened (you know how children don’t like parents to meddle for fear of retribution) and spoke with the principal whose response was, “Boys will be boys.” Gah. We couldn’t afford it, but I pulled my son out of Indian Hills Junior High in a flash and enrolled him in a private school, which he attended for one year before we moved to Colorado and then finally Laguna Beach where he graduated from its fine public school.

    I attended elite private schools most my life. My father was a plumber and wanted nothing but the finest for his daughters. Luckily I caught no elite cooties. 🙂 I was a social worker after university and with ensuing years outreach locally and globally has been my passion. I was lucky that my very, very modest privilege brightly blossomed into the gratitude I walk with today. It might not appear this way in my posts, but I live on the edge. I keep little for myself. I hope my greatest legacy for my children will be the understanding of what it really *takes* to live a gratifying life. I personally have discovered that happiness is often found beyond my own needs. xoxo

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  11. Maggie says:

    My youngest wanted to be home schooled, the bullying in the schools where we lived was out of control. She stayed at the public school, but the social skills she learned were mostly about bully’s rights (the popular affluent kids, popular also with the teachers who had all kinds of excuses for them) and how to cope with nasty, snobby people.

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  12. Bex says:

    Thanks Harriet… I tend to agree with you there. I think being in a public school adds so many layers to a child’s life and personality and coping skills that maybe being schooled at home might lack. These kids will probably go on to do great things but I’m wondering about their social skills. Some of them are really funny in the Bee, too. Some are pretty boring… Is your local youngster in the semifinals, too? Big cheer to all 47 of the finalists… but only one can win the money and fame… but they ALL win just by the process of the event, IMO.

    Like

  13. l'empress says:

    There’s a young fellow from our area in the spelling bee too. He’s from a local private school.

    Personally, I believe in putting our kids into public schools and supplementing, either from home teaching or private lessons. One of the most important lessons is that not everyone is just like us. The younger the kids learn to judge each person on his or her merits, the happier life they will have.

    Like

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